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Can Dogs Eat Caramel? | Is Caramel Bad for Dogs?

can dogs eat caramel

Caramel is a perfect sweet topping on ice cream, popcorn, apples and so much more! It adds flavor to a large variety of desserts. While we may love putting caramel on our food, have you ever wondered if you can sweeten your pup’s next meal with a drizzle of caramel?  Let’s look into some interesting questions.  Is caramel bad for dogs?  Can dogs eat caramel?  Read on to find out!

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Can Dogs Eat Caramel Safely? (The Short Answer)

No. Unfortunately, caramel is not a food that we can share with our dogs. In just one small cube of caramel there are 7 grams of sugar! Caramel is high in calories and sugar and offers virtually no health benefits to justify giving it to your dog! Regularly giving your dog foods that are high in sugar or calories can lead to a lot of problems down the road including, but not limited to obesity and diabetes. 

It’s important to remember, that even with the best of intentions, accidents happen and dogs can easily eat things they shouldn’t.  Unfortunately, even if those accidents aren’t fatal, they can result in huge, unexpected veterinary expenses.  That’s why we recommend all responsible dog owners get a free, online pet insurance quote from Healthy Paws.

Is Caramel Good For Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat caramel?” Now, let’s learn about the benefits of feeding your dog this food! Is caramel good for dogs?

No, caramel is not good for dogs! Caramel offers virtually no health benefits, while packing in a ton of calories and sugar. 

Caramel is made of heated sugar, heavy cream, butter, salt, and water. Individually, these ingredients offer virtually no health benefits. The big issue with caramel is that it contains copious amounts of sugar. Sugar should be avoided in your dog’s diet for a number of reasons. It can cause an upset stomach, cavities, weight gain, metabolic changes, and diabetes. 

Is Caramel Bad for Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat caramel?” Now, let’s learn about the dangers of feeding your dog this food! Is caramel bad for dogs?

Yes, caramel is bad for dogs. Technically, caramel is not toxic for dogs, so if your pup happens to sneak some you shouldn’t panic! That being said, you definitely should not be readily giving this food out as a treat. It can cause a variety of issues from dental disease, to diabetes, to obesity! 

In the short term, caramel can cause some significant issues for your pup. Caramel is just empty calories, and raw sugar. Too much sugar will result in a “sugar rush” similar to those that human children experience.  In dogs this will manifest as restlessness and hyperactivity. This will likely take a sudden turn into a period of lethargy, irritability, and moodiness. Sounds pretty similar to a toddler who had way too much candy! Additionally, if they eat too much sugar all at once, it may upset their stomach and cause nausea or vomiting. 

Looking at long term problems, frequent ingestion of foods with high sugar contents, such as caramel, can cause detrimental effects that can stay with your pup for a lifetime. Most people would think of the obvious- weight gain. But that’s not the only issue that your pup may have. Like your dentist always told you, too much sugar isn’t good for your teeth—and it isn’t good for your dog’s either. High sugar diets result in cavities and tooth decay, eventually leading to the necessary removal of some teeth.

The final risk associated with high sugar diets is diabetes. Like humans, dogs can also develop diabetes. Diabetes in dogs can be a challenge to manage, involving rigorous monitoring of glucose levels and insulin injections. 

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Other Varieties & Related Foods:

Can Dogs Eat Caramel Popcorn? / Can Dogs Eat Caramel Corn?

No! Dogs should absolutely not be eating caramel popcorn! Adding popcorn to caramel does not make it any more acceptable to eat caramel. 

Can Dogs Eat Caramel Ice Cream? / Can Dogs Eat Salted Caramel Ice Cream?

No, dogs should not be given caramel ice cream! The super high amount of sugar in this food is not good for your dog. Salt can also be incredibly dangerous for dogs, as they don’t need nearly as much sodium in their diet as humans and they don’t process excess sodium well. On top of all that, ice cream usually not a good choice for dogs regardless of flavor!

Related: 7 Easy & Refreshing Dog Popsicle Recipes (DIY Frozen Dog Treats)

Are Caramel Apples Safe For Your Pup?

Unfortunately, no, dogs should not eat caramel apples. Adding caramel to apples just coats a once healthy snack with a ton of sugar, making it an unhealthy option for dogs. However, when prepared correctly, apples can be a healthy treat to give your dog!

In Conclusion: Can Dogs Have Caramel?

No, no, no! Dogs can not have caramel. It’s a sweet treat we all love, but it’s best to keep it from our four legged family members. There is simply too much sugar in it which can be harmful for your pup. The nutritional benefits are negligible, but the and the potential risks outweigh any benefits. 

Want to Learn More?

Check out these related articles from our “Read Before You Feed” series for more advice on safe foods for dogs!

Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians and this article should not be taken as medical or veterinary advice.  If you have any questions about your pet’s health or dietary needs, please contact your local veterinarian.